Golf-Australian Open's revamped format 'good for the game' - Smith


  • Golf
  • Tuesday, 29 Nov 2022

FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 150th Open Championship - Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland, Britain - July 17, 2022 Australia's Cameron Smith celebrates making par on the 17th during the final round REUTERS/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - The Australian Open's new format, in which the men's and women's tournaments will take place simultaneously, will be good for golf, world number three Cameron Smith said on Tuesday.

The regional circuit's most prestigious event returns in Melbourne this week after being cancelled twice during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be held at Kingston Heath and the Victoria Golf Club from Dec. 1-4.

"I think it will be good for the game. I think the crowds will be enormous and I just think it will be a good week," British Open champion Smith said.

The 29-year-old also spoke about a game he had played against seven-times women's major winner Karrie Webb, who will also be competing at the Australian Open.

"I went down to do some practice down in South Florida. I didn't even know Karrie was a member there and we ran into each other and yeah, she beat me," Smith said.

"I don't know what to say. Hopefully she doesn't beat me off the stick this week. I think she had a home course advantage down there, so I'm blaming that."

Smith, who won a third Australian PGA Championship on Sunday, said winning his first Australian Open would be the perfect way to finish off "a really good year."

"The plan was to come down here and win both of them and I ticked one box and hopefully can do one more this week," Smith added.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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